Trip Report: Bay Tour Flight, January 28, 2012

Members of the Santa Cruz Flying Club flew the Bay Tour Saturday, January 28. 2012. The flight of two (a Cessna 150L and Cessna 172N) departed Watsonville, California (KWVI) and landed at a very busy Livermore Airport (KLVK).

The route took us clockwise from Watsonville, over Highway 17 and the Lexington Reservoir, up the peninsula, just west of SFO and AT&T Park, then East of the financial district at about 2,500 feet. The airspace around KSFO was very busy as evidenced by ATC chatter. I often had up to 7 targets on my TIS display (Garmin 430W) at a time.

Over the bay, we passed near Alcatraz, the Golden Gate and Angel Island. After flying over San Pablo Bay, we headed east to the Carquinez Straights and the mothball fleet, then southeast over Concord and down the valley toward Dublin.

The controller at Livermore was up to his armpits in weekend warriors, as evidenced by his comments to some of the inbound aircraft. At one point, the controller told one of the pilots who was having difficulty orienting himself, to leave the airspace because he couldn't follow instructions (I removed that conversation from the footage so not to embarrass the pilot who's N number and call sign were clearly audible).

Landing was a bit left of the centerline but there was pretty stiff crosswind blowing from left to right and I didn't want drift into the soft stuff.

Three GoPro Hero cameras were used to capture the footage; one attached to the port wing just aft of the pitot tube, one below the horizontal stab on the starboard side and one handheld in the cockpit. The cockpit camera was a new GoPro Hero 2 that allowed me to capture ATC chatter by plugging it on to the 1/4 jack in the plane that is connected to the audio panel. The external cameras were attached using suction cup mounts. Video was edited using Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5 (first time for this program) and time compressed from 2.2 hours to just over 20 minutes.

Overall it was a great day and flight!


Google Earth map of the flight track

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